Journey to Jordan: The most amazing Easter of my life

On a cold and drizzly Saturday night, I found myself standing in a small, crowded Catholic church 6,000 miles away from my home parish in Queens, and I couldn’t help but weep. Dozens of people were holding candles. Incense filled the air. And a deacon climbed into the pulpit and began the familiar chant that [Read More...]

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Why I’m celebrating Easter a second time

An explanation:  Catholics in Jordan will celebrate Easter on April 12, in accordance with a new agreement that unites the day of the Easter celebration for Orthodox and Catholic believers in the Holy Land. In 2012, the Catholic ordinaries of the Holy Land made a commitment to celebrate Easter at the same time as the [Read More...]

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Easter Vigil in Seattle, 2010

Someone posted this on Facebook. It’s something to see. Here’s how they did the Easter Vigil at St. Patrick’s in Seattle five years ago. For further viewing: Pentecost 2014 The Story of Lazarus, Lent 2014 Footnote: someone who saw this commented on the curious arrangement of the altar and the ambo: both essentially equal, neither one [Read More...]

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Lumen Christi! Scenes from our Easter Vigil

Photographs by Maria Ribar, Rosalind Chan-Ghanzi, Niranjan Fernando and me at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Forest Hills, NY at the Easter Vigil 2015.  Bishop Paul Sanchez, Pastor With my friend, ordination classmate, and the DRE at my parish, Deacon Bill McNamara. Team Triduum: While virtually every one of the 140 or so servers at [Read More...]

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What most people don’t see at the Easter Vigil…

…is the rehearsal that goes into it. Just got back from this year’s rehearsal with our DRE, Deacon Bill McNamara, and our pastor, Bishop Paul Sanchez. The church was being decorated. Cassocks were being mended. Catechumens were being pushed around. Robes were being measured. Tonight, of course, it will all look effortless. (Unless the deacon screws [Read More...]

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Awesome video: see a church transformed from Good Friday to Easter Sunday in 30 seconds

Check out how they did it at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago. Doesn’t every parish wish it were this easy and fast? Photo from St. John Cantius website [Read more...]

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Palm Sunday: the view from my parish in Queens

Weather: chilly. Liturgies: beautiful. Music: “All Glory, Laud and Honor,” “The Palms,” “Ride On! Ride On!,” “O Sacred Head Surrounded,” “Lift High the Cross.” Church: packed. [Read more...]

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“God, I’m a dancer! A dancer dances!”

Is he auditioning for “A Chorus Line”? The YouTube description says: “French Provincial Minister Michel Laloux expressed himself in dance during our morning Mass for the Annunciation.” Because, of course, that’s more important than, like, listening to the wisdom of Pope Benedict XVI, who said: It is totally absurd to try to make the liturgy [Read More...]

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Palm Sunday and Good Friday liturgies: who reads what?

This subject comes up periodically, and just today a friend on Facebook asked a question about where he could find the gospel for this weekend broken up into parts, for several people to proclaim. It’s worth a look at a 1988 document, Paschalis Sollemnitatis, which gives guidance on how to proclaim the Passion: 33. The passion narrative occupies [Read More...]

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Stations of the Cross and Benediction together?

Reading about how my parish follows the Stations of the Cross with Benediction, a couple readers have wondered if this is liturgically correct or appropriate. A deacon candidate noted: “I’m being taught in diaconal formation that Benediction is not a closing to another devotion. Must be linked to the Eucharist.”  Far as I know—and from [Read More...]

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